Frederique Morrel

My Fear
I warned you that there would be taxidermy in this blog... I just never told you it would be this AWESOME! Frederique Morrel is an artist who recycles old needlepoint tapestries combining the found materials with fur, leather, and latex and re-creates the taxidermy mount into an object that can only be described as unique. Her creations are interesting comments on the notion of value across themes of gender, craft, animal politics, and fashion. I particularly admire the last piece titled My Dear 3...the typical deer trophy swathed in tapestry depicting the hunt. Make sure to check out the website for more great pieces and to see upcoming shows.
Bambi From Behind
My Dear PMMD
Ma Biche
Chevreuil Vermeer
My Dear 3


Kate MacDowell

We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough.  We want something else which can hardly be put into words--to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it. – C.S. Lewis. 

This quote opens the artist statement of Kate MacDowell another artist interested in the relationship man has with nature. Her sculptures are beautifully, painstakingly crafted out of porcelain which is both fragile and valuable. The detail in her work can be heartbreaking. Her ceramic pieces are anatomically perfect and the composition begins a subtle but foreboding narrative. Man is guilty not only for the slow erosion of his own species but has perpetrated crimes against every single other species of living being on the planet. MacDowell's sculptures force us to look at our own mortality and suggests it is fundamentally connected to the existence of other creatures. Our actions affect everything whether we choose to acknowledge it or not but looking at MacDowell's sculptures it is hard not to see the tragedy of our selfishness.


Claire Morgan

Claire Morgan has been one of my favourite artists since my friend Amy showed me a photo of Fluid, the first photo here. Her pieces are poetic and so tragically beautiful. The time it takes to string up every strawberry, bee, feather, or scrap of plastic bag boggles my mind and makes me wonder about what sorts of images might be conjured up in an artist's mind during such a meditation.

Morgan taxidermies all the animals in her sculptures which are either found or donated victims of road kill or other untimely accidents. From what I remember none of the animals are trophies, have been hunted or killed specifically for her work. Part of what is really fascinating is the capture of motion in her installations which appear to be still in the photographs of her work. I imagine that they move and undulate slowly like the breath of a large unseen spirit. Every time someone walks past the sculpture would move a little, animating it if even just for a moment.

One day I would love to see these sculptures in person, quietly, and preferably all alone in the gallery.

Fluid, 2009

Captive, 2008

Gone with the Wind, 2008

Gone with the Wind, 2008 (detail)
While You Were Sleeping, 2009
The Blues, 2009

Pedestal, 2011
Pedestal, 2011 (detail)


Wataru Yoshida's Composition of Mammals

One of things that really attracts me to any artwork is beautiful renderings of anatomy. It is likely one thing that you will see appeari n many forms over and over if you read this blog. I am a real biology nerd and eat up weird and amazing facts about the human body, animals, and nature. I stumbled across this artist by accident while doing research for one of my own projects. I love the overlay of the anatomy on the photo of what looks like taxidermy specimens...another of my secret loves. Check out his website by clicking on the first photo.


Paper Magic of Nikki McClure

Nikki McClure is a magician with paper. Her artwork at first might appear to be silkscreen or maybe even pen and ink or painting but when you realize that her work is all painstakingly cut out of paper with an x-acto knife suddenly it is far more intricate.

Like her images which depict the simplicity of hard work in an everyday life, the labour intensive technique she uses result in simply beautiful images. The minimal palette reinforces the idea of single moments of time like perfectly preserved memories.

Many of the images are of regular, even mundae items or moments that we might take for granted or otherwise be overlooked or dismissed. But when we consider how much time it took to create the image, how much time we as viewers might now take to look at it knowing that the entire image was cut out of paper, lingering in that memory's image now seems to be the most important element in McClure's work.
While looking at her images we might be pulled into a memory of one of our own moments and linger there, remembering the feeling of summer wind on our skin, the scent of laundry right off the line, or an afternoon spent in the garden with your grandmother......

Nikki McClure's website can be found at One of the best ways to enjoy her work if you can't see it in person, is through her books (I picked up one I am particularly fond of in Toronto called Things to Make and Do), calendars, posters, cards or if you can afford one, a original framed papercut from her affiliated gallery